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Parliamentary questions
24 June 2016
E-005122-16
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and freedom of expression
 Answer(s) 

As some Member States move to criminalise the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, more than 350 European civil society organisations recently released a statement regarding the need for the EU to protect the right to freedom of expression for BDS activists.

Amnesty International has recently declared it ‘is concerned for the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti, and other BDS activists’, following recent threats made against BDS activists.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) recently stated that it ‘formally recognises and reaffirms the right of individuals to peacefully participate in and call for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) measures to protest against the Israeli government occupation and discrimination policies, and urges States to respect and uphold related rights of freedom of expression, opinion, association, and assembly’.

1. How does the Commission assess the statement — made at an anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem on 28 March 2016 attended by the EU representative in Israel — of Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz that ‘targeted civil eliminations’ should be carried out against Palestinian and international leaders of the BDS movement?

2. Will the Commission commit to defending BDS activists' right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression?

Last updated: 7 July 2016Legal notice